Saturday, May 19, 2012

Holman Lake

In all the accounts that follow, I will try to remember to add the DeLorme atlas coordinates and page number. Therefore, Holman Lake is in the Pennsylvania DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer P.67, C-8. It is a small lake of only 88 acres, in which I paddled just a tad over three miles. It is within Little Buffalo State Park.

In all Pennsylvania waters, a paddler must have a mooring or launch permit issued by either the Dept. of Natural Resources or the Fish and Boat Commission, but they will also recognize the state registration of any other state.

The gold dome of the Perry Co. Courthouse in New Bloomfield,
Pa., and its war memorial in the town's traffic circle.

Holman Lake is located just north of New Bloomfield, the county seat of Perry County, named for the War of 1812 Hero of Lake Erie, Oliver Hazard Perry. Holman Lake is in the Buffalo Ridge, part of the Tuscarora Mountain Group. The park is named after Little Buffalo Creek, along which bison were known to have roamed.

Newport was tied to the charcoal industry, which would burn an acre of trees per day in large furnaces. The time for each batch of charcoal would take 10-14 days. The charcoal was sent to the Juniata Iron Works iron furnaces, which operated until 1848, by which time all the hard wood forests in the area had been consumed and the hills left bare to serious, ugly erosion.

The grain mill, built about 1840, was an integral part of the community of Juniata Furnace, but after the furnace failed financially, William Schoaff purchased the mill and 63-acres from the iron works in 1849.

The mill race from Holman Lake turned the 32-foot diameter waterwheel at 3.6 rpm to produce 40-hp at the shaft, and 100-150 rpm. on the milling stones. Between Schoaff, his wife and son, the mill continued operating until the 1940’s, nearly a hundred years. Schoaff was quite innovative in his mill operation. Besides grinding corn for cornmeal, the normal mill operation, Schoaff’s waterwheel ground wheat flour, buckwheat, animal feed, and powered a cider press, a hoist, a bucket elevator, cob grinder, and a sawmill across the road powered by ropes coming off pulley’s in the mill’s third floor. As a testament to the quality of the period construction. William Schoaff's stone home still stands across the road from his mill, and is still an occupied private residence.

While I sit and prepare this post, I'm doubly glad I jumped at the chance to paddle last week.  The wind blew 35-40 mph. all yesterday, last night, and is continuing into today.  Then this afternoon we get the threat of severe weather. 

No comments:

Post a Comment